My life has changed. Over the last few weeks quite a lot has happened. I knew it would, I even said as much. I distinctly remember writing that there would be a before 10 in 10 and an after. What I didn’t know then was just exactly how it was going to change and how quickly it would happen. I am in a position where I am simultaneously going forward and stepping back. I have moved house and am now living on my own for the first time in around 20 years.
It is difficult to recall exactly what it was like to live on my own, I seem to remember that I actually quite enjoyed it. No one to answer to, going to bed when I want without worrying about disturbing someone else, watching movies at 3 in the morning if the fancy takes me, the possibilities are endless but then again so are the responsibilities.
Whatever happens from now on it is my responsibility, if there is no loo roll… my bad. No food in, well I should have gone shopping, bills not paid, I need to manage my finances better. In some ways taking all that responsibility back on board is good for the soul and something a few years of running has prepared me for. One of the things that becomes obvious as a runner is that you have no one else to blame if things go wrong, it is your training and your ability which dictate how successful you are. You have to be realistic about your prospects, there is no good setting yourself up for a sub 4 marathon if you really don’t have the time or commitment to train. You will let yourself down and feel deflated. I know, I have been there more than once. Likewise there was no point in me looking for a 3 bedroom house in the country when my finances would not cover it. I am quite happy with my 1 bedroom flat, big enough for me and more importantly affordable.
Alongside the responsibility comes opportunity, outside of work my time is my own too. I can train when and where I want without having to check first. I can allow my running to become a complete obsession again and that is something that you need to be able to do if you are going to step things up a gear. Last time I did that I lived in a bit of a different environment and my work was a lot ‘easier’. It certainly didn’t occupy as much time as it does now. More recently that kind of focus has been impossible, the more time I have tried to spend tuning up my running, the more I have felt like I am being selfish, however on my own that doesn’t matter. In short I can allow myself to become incredibly selfish and no one is there to object.
However it is not just the selfishness without all that tedious justification that appeals to me, I am as has been pointed out before quite a self contained person. This is perhaps not a surprise to my astute readers. Distance runners almost by definition are happy to be alone. We spend a hell of a lot of time running and we make sure we run even without company. There are many hours I have spent pounding the roads with nothing but my own consciousness bouncing around the echoing confines of my brain pan. You know what, I am good with that, and living alone is just an extension of that state of being. I have the space to think and pursue strange and wonderful projects of my own without scrutiny or need for approval. I don’t think it will be lonely as I have enough going on in that skull to keep me more than busy but you never can tell. Watch this space and we will see how I get on.